This live music venue remains one of the most laid-back and unpretentious places to catch bands in the capital.
Located just off Charing Cross Road, opposite the side of the popular Foyles bookshop, this venue has a central and an easy-to-find location – it's a short stumble from Tottenham Court Road Central Line station and loads of bus routes routes run close
by. From the outside, you'll wonder whether the venue is themed, as the wooden ticket office, visible from the street, wouldn't look out of place in a Tex-Mex themed bar. Walk past this – ensuring you check out the musical legends on the walls,
such as Oasis, who have played the venue in the past – and you enter a rather industrial-looking, white-walled stairway that leads to the left-hand side of the stage.
Once downstairs, you'll feel as if you've entered a cross between a rustic country-themed venue (wooden paneling) and a somewhat industrial club (the ceilings are covered in open piping). There are two bars either side of the small stage, which is also
used as part of the dance floor for club nights. The smaller bar of the two can be hard to get served at but is a welcome addition when you're over on the left-hand side of the stage during a
really packed gig and you're dying for a drink.
There's a main standing area to watch the bands, which is quite small – and can get pretty packed and sweaty – and a small seating area to the right of the stage where you can sit and be close to the band. Unfortunately, this space is designed with a
huge white pole restricting the view of the stage at some angles. Thoughtfully, the venue provides a TV, which allows you to still see what's going on.
Towards the back, there's a bigger seating area, where you'll find half a dozen or so low-level black tables and silver and black stools. There's also a couple of areas to perch, which you can lean against and put down your drink.
This area is also served by a TV, so you never miss out on what's happening on the stage – even if you're far away. The modern and somewhat unfinished toilets (there's no mirror in the ladies just yet) are behind this area, too. These can be a bit tight
to get into at times, especially on busier nights – but they're a lot cleaner than other music venues.
Whereas a lot of venues are unwelcoming unless you fit into a certain scene, The Borderline isn't like that at all. Due to the sheer variety of music on offer – and the rather eclectic indie and rock club night on Saturdays – the club is really unpretentious
and attracts a lot of people from different music scenes. Whether you brand yourself as a goth, a metal head or part of the indie scene, you won't feel out of place. Staff further emphasise this, they're friendlier than you'd expect for a music venue and
generally look as if they're having a good time like the punters.
This is the main focus and the intimate space plays host to hundreds of up-and-coming and well-known bands every year. Music can vary considerably depending on the nigh - on one night you might listen to a folk-themed blues band, and on another you
might hear an electronic-based or heavy metal act. Every Saturday, the club hosts The Christmas Club, which is a rock and indie night playing everything from 60s classics to modern day favourites. If you're going to visit the venue, it's worth checking out
the listings first, so you're not disappointed when you arrive.
Drinks are priced quite fairly considering the central location and the fact it opens until 3am on some nights. In keeping with the gig-venue theme, there's not a great selection of drinks on offer but they serve all the popular favourites. Carlsberg and San
Miguel are served on draught, Tetleys and Red Stripe are in cans and bottles include Gaymers, Newcastle Brown Ale, Budvar and VS alcopops. Spirits are pretty standard, too. You're looking at spending around £3.40 for a pint, slightly more for bottles and slightly less for cans. There's also wine on offer, too, and this is around £4 a glass.
The Last Word
Unpretentious, laid-back and intimate, The Borderline’s one of the best live music spaces in the capital.